Swimming & Soya Bean Curd

Yesterday was a swim day for me.  [Look, I know you’re a runner, and you might even think swimming is phooey, but don’t click away just yet!  Stick around, and maybe I can change your mind?  Or at least make you laugh?  And besides, there will be *plenty* of running talk here.]

My running mileage is still greatly reduced (although it’s moving in the right direction), so swimming is a great way for me to stay in shape and burn some of my extra exercise-energy.  Why do I swim?

1. I love to swim. I was a swimmer long before I was a runner.  In fact, according to legend in my house, I was a swimmer before I was a walker.  This shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s seen me navigate a doorway. Man, if I could swim through that sucker, I’d be golden.

2. I can do it outdoors, in Singapore, without losing gallons of sweat.  Maybe a few quarts, but certainly not gallons.  In fact, the rooftop pool at our gym is the one place in Singapore where I can get goosebumps.  Plus, rooftop pool?  Heck yes!

The awesome goggle lines are just a bonus!

The awesome goggle lines are just a bonus!

3. Swimming exhausts every muscle in my body.  I certainly experience “hard workout hurt” during some fast intervals, but when I’m done,  I don’t feel achy, old, or creaky – I just feel tired.  And since swimming works both my upper- and lower-body, I feel tired everywhere.  After a hard swim, I can be sitting (or lying) perfectly still, and my muscles feel heavy, spent, and just totally drained.  I’ve never achieved such a perfect “nothing hurts but every single muscle is just utterly exhausted” feeling doing any other activity.

4. Swimming reminds me that breathing while running should be no big deal.

5. Swimming makes me very, very hungry.  At the end of a long run, particularly in the heat, my conversation with KMN goes something like this:

KMN (chomping down on a big ‘ole burger and french fries): “Oh, man.  This is SO GOOD.  What could possibly taste better than this after a long, hard run??”
Me (stepping back from burger-smell): “Erm…Two sips of chocolate milk and 300 slices of cold watermelon?  ‘Cause that’s all that sounds good right about now.”

But I can eat pretty much anything the minute I get out of the water, even after the hardest of swims.  In fact, this was yesterday’s workout:

500 warm-up
500 freestyle drill
1000 swim
1000 mixed IMs (4×100, 3×200)
500 easy

A decent workout for me, these days, but not show-stoppingly difficult.  Still, after a quick shower (Another bonus! Who needs a long shower when you spent over an hour steeping in chlorinated water?), I decided that I needed a snack to fortify myself for the trip home.  Hey, 25 minutes is a long way!!!!

Mr. Bean sign and bean curd

Folks, this is soya bean curd. Bean curd is like pudding made from soybeans, served in a light, slightly sweet syrup. I love the stuff. Mr. Bean is one of several chains that sells soybean products (bean curd, soymilk, etc).  I’m a bit of a bean curd connoisseur, and as far as chains go, Mr. Bean wins.

Bonus points for this particular Mr. Bean, because it’s located between my gym and the MRT station.  I swear to you, it calls my name after every workout.  Plus, their soya beans are getting ready for Chinese New Year:

Soybean cut-outs in little red outfits at Mr. Bean

“Ah! So cute one!” <—Some Singlish for your Thursday

And with that, I felt sufficiently fueled to head back home, where I proceeded to devour a whole bunch of leftovers.  Chomp!

What workout makes you super hungry?

Ever seen a soybean dressed up for Chinese New Year before?

13 thoughts on “Swimming & Soya Bean Curd

  1. Elena Tartaglia

    1 – When I first started strength training and my body was adjusting to that, I would wake up in the middle of the night crying because I was so hungry (also maybe an infant?). Eventually my body got used to it and I started just eating a bit more/differently to counterbalance the tough workouts. Oddly for the past month I’ve been having low-appetite issues for the first time ever in my life.

    2 – no. cute though.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      My sister (runner, climber, lifter) leaves granola bars on her nightstand, just for that very situation. 🙂

      Thesis stress causing an appetite decrease…?

      Reply
      1. Elena Tartaglia

        Yeah, I am attributing it to grad school stress.

        Also do you wear a swim cap? Is the chlorine making your hair yucky? One of the several reasons I just don’t really swim is that I have a metric ton of hair and am lazy about swim caps.

        Reply
        1. Holly KN Post author

          Yes, I wear a swim cap. Swim caps don’t really protect your hair, though – plenty of water still gets under the cap, and the cap (especially the cheap ones) can actually pull out a lot of hair when you take it on/off. Rather, the cap protects your sanity by keeping swirling strands of hair out of your face.

          Hair management and swimming can be troublesome. I keep my hair pretty short, so some broken strands don’t matter much, and keeping it clean is pretty easy (and it doesn’t ever grow long enough to “dry out”). For someone with hair like yours, I’d suggest a fabric swim cap (which will be gentle to your hair), followed by a high quality latex one on top (if you want). But you’re still going to have to deal with washing, and probably some more serious conditioning. Sad, but true.

          Reply
  2. Kristen L

    Swimming makes me SO hungry too! Usually in the middle of a swim, I start to feel my stomach rumble. I’m not great at swimming, but I like it and it is something I’m working on right now.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      Thanks for stopping by, Kristen! Glad I’m not the only one who suffers from swim-induced hunger pangs! I’m not sure if it’s the full body workout…of if chlorine is just an appetite enhancer? 🙂

      And as far as your swimming goes – be persistent! Honestly, it’s one of those things that just takes a lot, lot, lot of practice – and the more you do it, the better your ‘feel’ for it becomes, and the easier it is. And it’s a workout that can carry you safely through many life stages, even when other kinds of workouts coming difficult (pregnancy, injuries, etc.)! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Chrissy

    My exercise of choice is going for long hikes. This is something that definitely grew after i married jonathan. When we go on long trail hikes and take a break in the middle i am famished (and completely looking forward to the ordinary ham and cheese sandwich, apple, and granola bar that we usually pack). I love how those hikes can make a very unremarkable lunch taste so much better.

    Reply
    1. Holly KN Post author

      This is exactly how I feel about eating while camping, Chrissy! I would never really consider some trail mix and an apple to be “the best breakfast ever!”, but somehow, when we’re camping…it works! 🙂

      Reply
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  5. Tamar

    1) Life makes me hungry. I’m probably your least healthy friend. 😉
    2) I’ve never seen a soya bean dressed up like anything before.
    3) My favorite part of this post is that you eat something from a store called “Mr. Bean”.

    Reply
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